Anxiety

Disclaimer

Please appreciate that ethology is my fundamental perspective in understanding human being and specifically human psychology.  This places me as one who views most all animal behavior in the context of  evolution and natural selection.  As such, I see the human personality as centrally wired to enhance the fact and nature of survival.  Not everyone looks at us this way - to say the least.

ORIENTATION

Viewed in the above context, anxiety is a psychophysiological response to perceived or anticipated danger.  Anxiety is felt physically and mentally as a degree of dis-ease which signals us that something is not right and needs our attention.  Anxiety signals us that it is not ok to relax right now - because something looms - something is not right and needs our attention.  Again, viewed in the context of understanding our central drive is to survive, it is understandable that the signal of anxiety (danger) - something threatening our well being and survival - would leap out at us with particular demand and urgency. 

As you will likely detect already, I am viewing anxiety as an emotional signal that tells you to do something.  I am anxious. I look at what is causing the anxiety (tax season). I see that I am in danger of trouble if I do not address my taxes.  I do my taxes.  The anxiety subsides.  This is straight forward.

But what happens if there is nothing I can do about the danger ahead?  What do I do with that?

But what happens if I am someone who walks around with anxiety all the time - even when I don't see any danger ahead?  What do I do with that?

But what happens if my level of anxiety is not one of alert - which allows me to identify and address the danger?  What if it is alarm or panic - which interferes with functional attention to the danger?  What do I do with that?

Well, often I eat.  The eating - particularly of starches - but also to some extent of anything - dials down my experience.  I feel anxious.  I eat.  I feel better.  It works like that.

What do I do about that? 

These are the fascinating questions ahead in our next few weeks of class.  I ask you to approach our topic with just as much awareness as you can muster. 

Do you eat to address anxiety?  Do the "but what happens" questions above resonate for you?  Let's look at and answer these important questions - as they apply to you!

The first reading below places anxiety in an evolutionary context.  I think it is excellent. 

As you go further through the readings, you will find references to anxiety and attachment schema - with anxious attachment being particularly important for this topic.  You will see conditions that leave a person with ongoing levels of anxiety - particularly trauma of many kinds.  You will also find a literature on eating and anxiety - our topic.  Please look these things through.  They will give you a grounding for a truly eyeopening study of our issue.  Be sure to have a look at the anxiety treatment pieces.  That will of course ultimately be our focus.
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
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CognitiveBehavioralTreatmentofAnxiety.htm
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
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Bill Picon,
Jan 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
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